Letters to the Editor for Monday, Aug. 19

first_imgArts projects are a perfect fit with trailIn mid-July, the Friends of the Mohawk-Hudson Bike-Hike Trail hosted the first Color the Canal event with the support of CREATE Community Studios. Both the Friends and CREATE would like to thank Schenectady County for its sponsorship of this event (through Schenectady County’s County Initiative Program Arts, History and Tourism Grant).We’re also grateful to the many community groups and individuals who helped make it a success.Thanks to all our supporters, more than 150 pieces of artwork greeted trail users the weekend of July 13. Art stretched from Kiwanis Park in Rotterdam to SUNY Schenectady and was also placed at locations on the trail in Niskayuna.Color the Canal helped highlight the trail, not just for local users, but also for the more than 650 cyclists taking part in the annual Cycle the Erie Canal ride. The cyclists, from across the country and around the world, ride from Buffalo to Albany over eight days, stopping in communities along the way. Numerous participants told us Color the Canal provided a warm welcome to Schenectady County and was unique to anything they had experienced along the trail.Public art projects serve a valuable role in establishing a trail’s and a community’s identity. We hope this was just the first of many Color the Canal events and that we can continue to use art to promote both our trail, an incredible recreational resource, and the many services Schenectady County has to offer trail users, whether they’re on the trail for an hour or for a longer journey.Gillian ScottSchenectadyThe writer is president of the Friends of the Mohawk-Hudson Bike-Hike Trail.Grateful for Engel’s work with veteransI’m writing to inform you and the community about the hard work and dedication that Mr. Dan Engel, director of Veterans Affairs for Fulton County, provides for, and on behalf of, the veterans in Fulton and Hamilton County.Many veterans and their families struggle to navigate the VA and federal government bureaucracy to obtain the care and benefits they are entitled to. They often give up in frustration.Dan works tirelessly and relentlessly striving to push the right buttons and get the proper paperwork submitted in a proper manner in order to satisfy the requirements necessary for the veterans to receive the help they desperately need.As anyone who has had to deal with these agencies knows, it can be a frustrating endeavor. Dan never lets it go and communicates often with the veterans and their families to keep them updated on the progress and what they can expect next.He’s a good listener and genuinely cares about the health and well-being of all veterans in the area. He’s a great asset to the community and to veterans.On behalf of all those he’s helped, and is helping, we’d like to extend a grateful thank you for his tireless efforts in the service of others.All our public servants should be as committed and dedicated as he to the community’s they serve.Joel Stuartthe family of Bill StuartWellsEat thoughtfully and help save the planetSo many of us want to step lighter on the planet, but how?One big step is eating thoughtfully. First, eat locally. Choosing farmer’s markets means more nutritional food, local economic support, and a lighter carbon footprint in delivering food to your table.Also, eat seasonally.Freeze or can produce, then in the dark winter, open up a jar of summer.When store shopping, continue to source food as locally as possible for a lighter carbon footprint. And finally, eating greener means eating less meat.As Bill Gates pointed out, “If cows were a country, they’d rank third in greenhouse gas emissions.” Try thinking of meat as a delicacy instead of a staple.Thoughtful eating will bring more joy to your table and to the planet.Caroline BrooksScotiaMore from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidation Categories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionCuomo should veto harmful health billAs the operator of a small logistics business that operates on tight margins and relies on attracting the best drivers in the business to ensure our customers get their packages on time, I felt compelled to speak up on an issue that will directly impact our employee healthcare plan.This past legislative session, the Legislature hastily passed a bill that if signed into law by the governor will likely have a serious negative impact on the price of prescription drugs and our employee healthcare plan.Senate bill 6531, which came about after the release of a report on pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) by state Sen. James Skoufis, could drastically increase the cost of prescription drugs.Although probably well-intentioned, this complicated legislation could hinder patient access to medication and reduce doctors’ ability to provide the most effective and affordable prescriptions available. The legislation is extremely complicated and requires careful consideration and review — both of which were not part of the legislative process.For this reason, the governor should veto the bill and begin working with the Legislature and stakeholders from patients to our doctors, hospitals and insurance companies, pharmacies and PBMs, and businesses and unions to improve the legislation.If you’re like me, you probably never heard of a PBM before. In doing my research, I discovered that our company’s healthcare plan relies on PBMs to keep costs down for my employees.Why can’t Albany ever think of the little guy?Jack McCabeMaltaTrump didn’t get his way with Russia helpJim Murphy in his Aug. 3 letter (Think about how Trump got advantage) asks three questions. Here are three possible answers:1. I don’t think that Russia necessarily wanted Trump to win. Any intelligence service worth its salt would have had access to all of the emails that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sent and received on her unauthorized server. The blackmail possibilities were almost limitless. The Russians probably thought that Clinton would win. As in past elections, Russia wanted to sow social discord and create a lack of faith in our election process. Robert Mueller’s high-priced, fruitless investigation indicates that this time, they were successful.2. Trump and his campaign were unaware of the Russian efforts as they occurred before the election, during the Obama administration. The FBI director testified under oath that the FBI didn’t advise the Trump campaign of this threat. The Mueller investigation didn’t find that the Trump campaign, or anyone associated with it, conspired or coordinated with the Russian government.The investigation also determined that Trump had not obstructed an investigation of a crime that had not occurred. Interestingly enough, the only collusion with Russia that was uncovered was that by the Democratic National Committee and the Clinton campaign.3. Mueller testified that his investigation was not interfered with, nor were resources, documents and testimony withheld nor executive privilege claimed.Too bad that this amount of interest in Russian activities wasn’t present regarding their orchestration of the “Peace” Movement during the Vietnam War. Think of all of the lives, American and Vietnamese, that could have been spared.John HoetkerSchenectadylast_img read more

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Five Trojans named Preseason All-Americans

first_imgSummer has just begun, but there will be no lazy beach days for USC football. This season, the Trojans should be in the hunt for a Pac-12 title that doesn’t have a clear favorite. If USC does make it to the Pac-12 title game, they will likely face either No. 11 Stanford or No. 18 Oregon — the North’s heavyweights.Loaded with five Preseason All-Americans, USC definitely has the talent to win the conference as no other Pac-12 team has more than three based on Phil Steele’s 2016 Preseason All-American Team.Junior wideout JuJu Smith-Schuster is a first team pick and Biletnikoff Award favorite. Smith-Schuster finished last season with 89 catches for 1,454 yards and 10 TDs (all team bests). He was named one of 10 Biletnikoff Award semifinalists in 2015, and he earned second-team All American honors and made the All-Pac-12 first team. His 2015 campaign was slowed by a wrist-break midway through the year versus California. Although he never missed a game, Smith-Schuster only posted one 100-plus game after the injury. In 2016, the sky’s the limit for a healthy JuJu.Three Trojans — Zach Banner, Adoree’ Jackson, and Zach Smith — made the second team. Banner, a fifth-year senior, started all 14 games for USC in 2015 — 12 times at right tackle and twice at left tackle. CollegeSportsMadness.com named him a third-team All-American and to the All-Pac-12 first team. The Associated Press and Phil Steele named Banner All-Pac-12 second team. Jackson, a rising junior will focus less on offense next year to improve at cornerback. He is USC’s only player to be named a preseason All-American at two positions — cornerback and punt returner. Smith, a three-year starter, will return for his senior year at long snapper.USC’s fifth preseason All-American, linebacker Cam Smith, was named to the third team. Smith, a rising sophomore, made Phil Steele’s All-Pac-12 second team last year despite missing USC’s final four games with a knee injury suffered versus Colorado. Through ten games, Smith led the Trojans in tackles (78) and interceptions (3). His healthy performance in 2016 is critical to the Trojans defense.In addition to these five men, Phil Steele named 10 Trojans to his Preseason Pac-12 Team (fifteen in total). Junior guard Damien Mama joins Banner and Smith-Schuster as first team selection on offense, while Cameron Smith and Jackson made first team defense, and Jackson and Zack Smith first team special teams.Senior running back Justin Davis and sophomore Ronald Jones II both made preseason All-Pac-12. According to Phil Steele, Davis is a second-team selection and Jones third-team. In 2015, Jones was a Phil Steele All-Pac-12 third-team selection. Davis started eight games, running for 902 yards and averaging 5.3 per carry with seven TDs including two in the Holiday Bowl versus Wisconsin. His three biggest rushing performances came in three consecutive games versus ranked opponents – Oregon (141 yards), UCLA (130), and Stanford (99).Offensive linemen junior Toa Lobendahn and redshirt senior Chad Wheeler each nabbed second-team honors according to Athlon. Lobendahn missed half of last year with a knee injury and Wheeler had off-field issues later in the season, though he earned Phil Steele’s third team All-Pac-12 honors last year. The two of them will return to lead a veteran O-line that Phil Steele ranks first in the Pac-12.Redshirt junior Max Browne, a first-time starter in 2016, rounds out Southern California’s offensive preseason All-Pac-12 selections with Phil Steele’s fourth-team honors. A lot will be riding on his shoulders when the Trojans open the season versus defending NCAA champions Alabama.The Trojans do not have a shortage of talent on the other side of the ball. Phil Steele named six defensive Trojans to his preseason All-Pac-12 team. Jackson and Cameron Smith lead on the first team, followed by sophomores cornerback Iman Marshall on second, defensive back Marvell Tell III on third, and linebacker Osa Masina and defensive tackle Rasheem Green on fourth. USC’s young defensive backs will return in 2016 with experience, maturity and an Adoree’ Jackson who will not have to split practice time with the offense.While USC does not kick off its 2016 campaign until September, the summer is abuzz with talk of Trojan football. With Clay Helton settled in as head coach, USC’s young stars should have the proper tutelage to blossom into All-Pac-12 performers in 2016.last_img read more

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